Early in my training as a psychologist, I had a client with severe anxiety and depression. I spent months trying to help him develop better coping skills, but he rarely used them when distressing situations came up. It turned out that although he seemed to understand the skills in our sessions, he wasn’t practicing them between sessions. I knew this “homework” was important because it would enable him to use those skills in his every-day environment, where he’d need them most.
We did some exploring and he was motivated to practice the skills between sessions, but he often just simply forgot. I was really invested in his success, so I started calling him during the week to remind him to complete his homework. After a few weeks, he started to come to our sessions having regularly practiced his skills. He then began using them when faced with unanticipated distressing situations. We started to see a very noticeable difference in his thoughts, emotions, and behavior–he was happy!
Fortunately, this wasn’t a unique situation–studies show that when clients practice skills between therapy sessions their likelihood of a successful outcome increases from 32% to 68%. That’s more than double! It seemed like reminding my clients to practice skills during the week would be key to promoting positive outcomes; however, it would have been impossible for me to call all of my clients multiple times each week to remind them to practice skills. I needed to find a better way.
I believe that all clients should benefit from completing homework. That's why I created Adhere.ly, a simple, free, and secure way to practice therapeutic skills with clients in-session, remind them to complete their homework between sessions, and review that practice and track their progress over time. Now with Adhere.ly all my clients automatically get reminded to complete homework at the time they need to do it. Clients all over the world are getting better because they are completing their homework thanks to Adhere.ly. Try it out with your clients, sign up today!